Space is the most valuable commodity in Hong Kong: Surfaces suitable for building are extremely rare in the former British crown colony. With 16,000 inhabitants per square kilometer, Hong Kong numbers among the most densely settled areas in the world. The entire area is covered with skyscrapers, not only Victoria Harbor with its world-famous skyline. Residential towers 50 stories high and more can be found in every corner of the craggy island city.
This includes the New Territories, where “China Heavy Equipment & Automation Ltd.” has managed to acquire a small warehouse. This is where the construction engineer Vincent Ho manages the construction company’s business together with his brothers. This is also where his employees start every morning with their four Sprinter and seven Vito. Every morning, they head out to construction sites in the special administrative region that has belonged to the People’s Republic of China since 1997, yet still retains a certain independence.
The current project of “China Heavy”, short form of the company’s name, are the distributor roads from the Chep Lak Kok airport to the new Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge. The 50 kilometer long bridge spans the Pearl River Delta and connects Lantau island with Hong Kong’s extensive highway network. The engineers, crane drivers and workers from “China Heavy” travel 30 to 60 minutes to reach the massive construction site.
Hong Kong consists of 263 islands. On the journey to Lantau, the Sprinter and Vito pass by the three largest bridges of the metropolis with seven million inhabitants. When the fog dissipates, it reveals incredible views of the South China Sea, the harbor and the skyscrapers of Kowloon and Hong Kong Island. This is where Asia’s most important banks do their business. “I love Hong Kong”, says Vincent Ho. “Working here keeps me fit.” His fleet consists exclusively of Mercedes-Benz commercial vehicles. Firstly, because of his passion: “I have always been a Mercedes fan!” Two obviously indestructible first-generation Actros are a reminder of this. Vincent Ho still uses them as delivery vehicles. Yet he also has thoroughly practical reasons: “Only Vito and Sprinter offer me the reliability that I expect from a commercial vehicle.”
Only Vito and Sprinter offer me the reliability that I expect from a commercial vehicle.
In addition to the teams, the vans also transport heavy tools and material. “We demand everything the vans have to give when we load them. In addition, the roads on a large construction site like the one on Lantau Island are often extremely rough. But there is no problem at all for my Vito and Sprinter”, says Vincent Ho, while directing his employees. They are in the process of moving one of the 140 ton bridge segments into position with a 500 ton crane. Centimeter by centimeter, the massive concrete part gradually moves into place, held in position by steel cables and shackles that one of the Sprinter delivered to the construction site.
The people from the Pearl River Delta still have to be a little patient until the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge opens and heralds in a new chapter for the integration of the region. Then travelling from shore to shore will only take half an hour. Up until now, people have had to drive along the highway for hours or take the fast ferry. Vincent Ho and his Sprinter will also benefit from the new connection. Because the construction site of the future may well lie on the other bank of the Pearl River.
Photos: PHR Kommunikation